Sunday, May 10, 2009

UrbanAmish Lesson 2 • Roman Broad Stripe or Rome Can Be Built in a Day

Photo of centurion courtesy Luc Viatour via Wikipedia Commons.

The Romans were no slouches at decorative touches as you can see by this photograph of a Roman Centurion at a historical reenactment in Boulogne, France.
I've paired him with one of Pamela's Roman Broad Stripe blocks that looked particularly good with his outfit.

In this lesson we are going to explore an UrbanAmish variations on the Roman Stripe. I've based the Roman Broad Stripe on the traditional Roman Stripe Amish block, a block often seen presented in the configuration shown to the right.

This has always been a very appealing block for me specially in the Lightning configuration. While the small band of stripes in the traditional block is quite appealing for colorwork . . .

Red and green play with my Holiday Splendor Christmas line in a traditional Roman Stripe.

. . . I found myself wanting the bold lightning effect AND the visual impact of larger scale graphics while putting a new line idea through it's paces in a virtual quilt design. I tinkered with stripe proportions and came up with an UrbanAmish variation. Here's the virtual quilt that gave birth to the proportions and dimensions of UrbanAmish Roman Broad Stripe.

Quilt design by Yolanda Fundora: Roman Landscape

An aside: For the life of me I cannot find why the traditional block is called Roman Stripe. (Any quilt historians out there please chime in through a comment if you know the answer so the unenlightened may be illuminated.)

To have an UrbanAmish Roman Broad Stripe adventure you must download the following:

UrbanAmish Lesson #2: Roman Broad Stripe

To download, click here.

UrbanAmish Lesson #2 Templates for Roman Broad Stripe.

To download, click here.

As you already know if you have read previous posts: UrbanAmish lessons are fully tested on a laboratory volunteer.
Pamela is never harmed in the process but I was a bit afraid she might hurt herself in her enthusiastic response to this lesson.

She produced 4 individual Roman Broad Stripe Blocks.

These two configurations take the 2-unit block for a spin:

These are one-unit lightning configurations. (To be further illuminated you must read the lesson.):

And while her brain munched on those she came up with a design that incorporates her two favorite Roman Broad Stripe configurations:
Lightning and Double"K". She calls this "Urban Baby Quilt," saying, "Urban babies wear black and go to art museums."

Pamela adds:
I made my four sample blocks from an early version of the lesson. In this version, fabric B was supposed to contrast to A in value, hue, and texture, and fabric C was supposed to be similar to B in value and hue, while similar to A in texture. For instance, in my blue block, all the fabrics are turquoise and cobalt blue. A and C have curly lines, while B has straight lines, making the two groups contrast in texture. B and C have more cobalt (and black) than turquoise, while A has more turquoise than cobalt, making these two groups contrast in value and hue.

The earlier version of the lesson was fun and rewarding, but it was HARD to find fabrics that went together in exactly the right way. The new version is much easier to follow, and will give you blocks that look just as good.

Urban Baby Quilt
is not quite legitimate because there is too much contrast between B and C. I don't care! I loved these fabrics too much.

I am fortunate to have most of Yolanda's fabrics in my stash. My green block uses the Holiday Splendor focus fabric from her current Christmas line with Blank Quilting, and shows that it doesn't have to look like Christmas. The palm trees in my yellow block come from Yolanda's older "Playa Sur" line. And the red fabric in the baby quilt comes from Yolanda's older "Textura Graphica" line.

Our shared quilt studio in the midst of a Roman Broad Stripe lightning brainstorm. That's Pamela's current color wheel quilt design on the back flannel wall and part of her lovingly organized fabric stash.


  1. Oh my gosh you are killin' me with your fabrics. How long do I have to wait to get my Lazy mitts on these? Yum!


  2. Gorgeous! The very first quilt I made (about forty years ago) was a Roman stripe -- nice and easy! ( But not nearly so stunning as these examples of yours!)

  3. I LOVE the Roman Strip pattern! Gorgeous examples - thank you!

  4. WOW! I always suggest to would-be quilters that they can make a great quilt with great fabrics and the simplest of patterns; I'm going to send them to your blog for your wonderful examples!